At a time when almost everything is done in an instant, it’s safe to say that digital formats are reigning the world of music. However, we cannot forget the fact that there was the good old vinyl before cassettes, DVDs, Spotify, and iTunes took over.
Vinyl is played using a device called a turntable. If you have the penchant for an old-school style of playing music, you know that a turntable is as sacred as vinyl records. When you are into collecting vinyl, you surely have heard about the art of turntable maintenance. There are five aspects you need to consider when it comes to maintaining your turntable; its placement and suspension, the stylus, calibration, alignment, and belt. Here are five tips to keep in consideration.
- Buy a support for your turntable. Your turntable may have the tendency to have a jarring effect of the footsteps on the suspension. The solution lies in the correct choice of platform. You want to keep it away from vibrating so place it away from any source of it because it can interfere with that signal. This way, you can avoid having distorted sounds. You want to keep any unwanted forces out unless you have a really good turntable that can absorb those vibrations even before they reach the needle and the record.
- Use a carbon fiber brush to clean the stylus. The turntable can be prone to skipping and distortion when the stylus attracts dirt and deposits. This is why it is important to have a good stylus brush. You can use fluids or cleaners to keep the stylus in good condition. It is also recommended to change the stylus after every 3,000 hours of use to maintain good sound quality.
- Correctly calibrate the tracking force, anti-skate, and height settings. This is to avoid increased record wear as well as skipping needles. It is important to look after all the parts of a turntable to have the best quality sound you can get. Do note, however, that it matters to have superior arms for the tonearm which is regarded as the most important part of your turntable.
- Replace the belt once every few years. This is a reminder for people who own a belt drive turntable. When is it time to replace it? It is time to change it when you begin to see it slipping lower than usual on its pulley. Or if you hear it slip when you power up your device, it is a sign that you might need to invest in a new one.
- Make sure that your anti-skate counterweight is aligned correctly. This part of the device makes sure that your stylus sits perfectly in the centre of the groove as the record spins. Correct alignment is important because it can have an effect on the way your stylus sits inside the record grooves.
Keeping your turntable in shape is not really that hard or expensive. The secret actually lies in regular maintenance. Keeping your device tuned and clean will ensure that it will give the best sound quality and a long cartridge life.